The mind is ever a tourist
Wanting to touch and buy
New things then throw them
Into an already full closet.
Cleaning the kitchen, washing windows or rinsing our mental palate are all necessary tasks. Cleaning and decluttering, for me, are mindfulness practices. They are not chores that I dread, nor ways to strive for a perfect living environment, but ways to practice living in the present moment.
Today, I will help you declutter your home and your head. Start right where you are, and pick a few things that you don’t need or use, and put them in a bag or box to be donated or recycled. You’ve now started. Tomorrow, do it again.
If you have been overwhelmed by feelings surrounding your current circumstances, stop and write. Set a timer for five minutes and write. Don’t worry about spelling. Don’t worry if it doesn’t make sense. Don’t worry about being nice. When the five minutes come to an end, take a few deep breaths. Then take the paper and shred it. By physically letting go of these written feelings, you are allowing yourself room for something new. Tomorrow, do it again.
These activities don’t make our feelings go away. Our mindfulness practice is forever a journey. But by physically removing what you don’t need anymore, you ignite the power of change. Decluttering helps us form new habits and new futures.
What are you decluttering today?
In many ways Mindful Monday is an experiment. It is an experiment and a quest. This quest is meant to help you learn something new about yourself – to empower you to sit with stillness. Please feel free to share your thoughts. We always love hearing from you.
It’s important to recognize that mindfulness is not about becoming a better this or that. It’s about becoming fully aware of whatever is happening, whether we like it or not.
This makes sense on an intellectual level. But how can we live this way? How can we find peace today? Tomorrow?
For your Mindful Monday exercise this week I want you to make a gratitude list. So, right now, right this second, stop what you are doing. Grab a pen and paper. Or if you want to use your notes app in your cell phone that is fine too. Write five things you are grateful for. At the end of your work day, when you have finished your evening rituals sit down in a quiet place and read your list.
It is easy to overlook all the good that surrounds us during moments of disappointment. And miniature disappointments happen daily. But being stuck in a scarcity mentality, where we feel like we never have enough, will certainly keep us from a blissful self.
Self-acceptance and mindfulness is a journey not a destination.
Happy Mindful Monday.
There are some of us who keep up our morale by always being busy. We feverishly email while standing in line at Starbucks forgetting about all the chance encounters surrounding us. We send text messages while at dinner with our families. And we work longer and exercise less. Purpose and direction have been replaced with activities, distraction and constant stimulation.
This is why I wanted to create Mindful Monday. I wanted to give all of you a weekly restful moment.
Howard Thurman was a mystic, theologian, minister, and activist. He wrote a lot about mindfulness and I thought he would be a good person to highlight for Mindful Monday this week. Here are a few of Thurman’s words of wisdom:
“First, we must learn to be quiet, to settle down in one spot for a spell. Sometime during each day, everything should stop and the art of being still must be practiced. For some temperaments, it will not be easy because the entire nervous system and body have been geared over the years to activity, to overt and tense functions. Nevertheless, the art of being still must be practiced until development and habit are sure…
We must, each one of us, find his own time and develop his own peculiar art of being quiet.
We must lose our fear of rest.”
We find ourselves in rest.
Today, on this Monday, I challenge you to rest for five minutes. You can do this at work, at home or outside. The only reason you should use your phone is if you want to set a timer for five minutes. If you do this make sure to put the phone out of reach. Next, get comfortable. Once you are situated sit and look at what is around you. Pick one item. A flower, bird, book, fabric, painting and really look at it. Look how light interacts with the space. Look as if you are seeing for the first time. Be consumed by the possibilities around you. Notice and be.
Please feel free to share what you see in the comments below. I always love hearing from you.
Happy Mindful Monday.
How do you live a remarkable life in a conventional world?
That was the question raised at the 2014 World Domination Summit.
The World Domination Summit was founded by the best selling author of The Art of Nonconformity, Chris Guillebeau. The annual event attracted 3,000 people from 30 different countries to Portland, Oregon last week.
There were many events and speakers at the WDS. One of my favorite events was The Great Namaste. The Great Namaste was a record-breaking moment where more than 800 people did yoga at the same time. Guinness Book officials were on hand to verify the count was accurate for the world’s record.
So why is The World Domination Summit important? More people are looking to live a life of purpose. And each day the community of world shakers is growing.
Guiding people to take the next steps toward their dreams is what my life is about. I am here to support people and help them redesign their life. Who you are should match what you do in the world.
It’s time to make a difference. It is time to live your life.
Stay tuned for information and programming that will change your world and how you live in it.
The Self Mastery tribe lives all over the United States. And for the last three months they been meeting, traveling, communicating through phone, email, and webinar about the purpose of life, of a good life. They have been participating on a journey of Self-Discovery, Self Acceptance, and Self-Mastery.
This past weekend in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida the program came to an end.
As programs end and begin, I always think about what more I can offer. I think about how else I can encourage people live a purposeful life.
I am always brought back to what people believe life to be. Many people believe we are here to learn lessons. The problem with this idea is you will continue to create lessons to learn. In this belief the world becomes an obstacle course of never-ending, unattainable mountain peaks.
We already love ourselves conditionally. We already struggle with self-acceptance.
This linear notion of life constructs limitations to happiness, peace and hope. We start to tell ourselves, When I lose 10 pounds I will love the way I look. When I get a date, when someone loves me, I will be loveable. When I graduate with my Masters I will be highly educated.
Life is not a math equation. The universe is not a teacher. And Self-acceptance is not a destination.
The Self Mastery Project has not been a self-help fix-me up quick and easy lesson. The Self Mastery is a practice. It is a way of life. It is a program to remind us that we are here to live. We are here to express who we are. We are here to experience life in the highest possible way.
I want to thank the Self Mastery participants for bravely traveling on this journey. I know you will continue to unfold, dream, and experience the power within you.
-The photo is of artist Wolfgang Laib’s installation made with bee pollen. The contemporary artist has been collecting natural pollen from environments surrounding his home in Southern Germany for over 30 years. To Laib, the pollen’s vibrant yellow hue and fragile state represents “beginning”; a celebration of life and nature’s boundless energy.
Success. What is it? How do you decide when you are successful?
I met this documentary filmmaker a few months back at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Fine Art in Kansas City. The filmmaker was screening his award-winning documentary about decommissioned American school busses. After Kansas City he was headed to Chicago. The next day would be another city. His film had started a journey and was taking him to museums and film festivals all across the United States.
However, even at this point in his career money was still an issue. Traveling across the United States isn’t cheap. And despite the funding he received through supportive foundations and Kickstarter he still was struggling.
I do not doubt that his creative work will someday take him to financial stability.
But his situation brought me back to the idea of success. Despite the story we tell ourselves, monetary wealth, where it can be important, is not the only way to define success.
There are two types of success: Linear success and Inspired success. Linear success mimics others. It tries to recreate someone else’s experience. Inspired success taps into your own innate Being.
I invite you to study your own excitement. Follow your joy and passion; See where it takes you.
And don’t forget to acknowledge your many successes big or little along the way.
“Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought.”
-Basha, Japanese Poet
image from imgfave.com
Make your own fortune –
I don’t want you to know the facts about who you are. I want you to know the truth about who you are. The facts are very different from the truth. The fact may be that you have $50 dollars in your account. But the truth may be that you have just started a new well paying job, and received financial advice to get yourself on the right path. Stay close to the truth. Today I would like to share some spiritual truths with you.
7 Spiritual Truths About You
1. You are an eternal, spiritual being.
2. You are heir to a rich estate of abundance and love.
3. You have been created to receive blessings. Spirit is the giver.
4. You have an unbreakable bond and connection to the Source of all-good.
5. You already have within you everything necessary to succeed in life.
6. You are the co-creator of your own life experience.
7. You are created to live well and be happy.
The Self Mastery Project is a three-month program currently in session. The three-month program has consisted of a one weekend intensive with Kristoffer Carter in Kansas City, a webinar, a weekend intensive with August Gold in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and three individual coaching sessions with Dr. Chris Michaels.
The program has been stuffed with insight and self-discovery.
This weekend during The Self Mastery Project webinar we talked about the power of beliefs. The funny thing is most of our beliefs have never been closely examined or scrutinized. Too many of our beliefs are rooted in fear, opinion or someone else’s experience.
I often think of the beliefs surrounding creative people. Society tells us all artists are starving. We are taught that if you can paint then you probably can’t do math. Our current culture tells us some writers start their morning with Scotch. Mainly we are informed that the passion of creative people is so intense that their life can never be stable.
They are all doomed to be troubled geniuses.
These beliefs have been polluting our creative culture for years. There are heaps of articles on the Internet about all the musicians that have died at twenty-seven: Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin – The list continues. But this dreadful inventory isn’t limited to musicians. There is the great French poet, Rene Vivian that died at thirty-two. According to my research, Vivian consumed by inspiration and lovers drank/starved herself to death. In her short life she published more than thirty volumes of prose under various names. Then there is the American photographer Francesca Woodman. Her work continues to be the subject of much critical acclaim, years after she committed suicide at the age of twenty-two.
The truth is: Not all imaginative minds are subject to early deaths, alcoholism, and fickleness. There are writers like Anne Lamott that have been sober for years. Lamott’s work speaks to audiences across the globe. Many of her books talk about her atheist upbringing and how she thought intelligent people couldn’t believe in God. There are also writers like Elizabeth Gilbert (The author of Eat, Pray, Love) who have researched how to live as a healthy creative.
Some of our beliefs may be based on truth, but many have been unconsciously accepted without consideration.
Don’t discount your intuition. But challenge your beliefs. You may be surprised with what you discover about yourself and the world around you.
Image of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey. Photo courtesy of Asheer Akram.
According to the Webster Dictionary – habit is an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.
We all have a lot of habits. Habits have a hand in constructing who we are.
As Virginia Woolf said in Mrs. Dalloway, “Rigid, the skeleton of habit alone upholds the human frame.”
Technology, an integral part of our life, has become a habit. We check Facebook during lunchtime or when we are bored. Our phones, now navigators, search engines, cameras, and flashlights, have replaced conversations at the dinner table. When we wake up in the morning before we have even stepped out of bed we grab our phones to check our emails.
Don’t get me wrong. Technology is not bad.
Some parts of technology help us create healthy habits. Insight Timer, a meditation app, allows fellow meditators to see who is meditating worldwide!
Technology can also help people follow their dreams. Kickstarter, an online crowd- funding platform, has assisted filmmakers, artists, musicians, comics, journalists, and small start-ups all over the world bring their creative projects to life. $1,109,066,139 dollars have been pledged to Kickstarter Projects. Kickstarter launched in 2009.
With that being said, we have to remember:
Technology is not meant to consume our life. It is meant to enhance it.
As we go throughout our day, we have to be conscious of our habits.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Image credit: Anthony Baab, A Strenuous Nonbeing. Image courtesy of E.G. Schempf